Lagos Govt procures 14 tractors for mechanisation programme, marks World Food Day

MINA Blog- The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Sunday said that his government had procured 14 new tractors and ancillary equipment for farmers in the state under the “Eko Agro Mechanisation Programme”.

Sanwo-Olu made this known in Lagos at the grand finale of the 2021 World Food Day Celebration in the state.

The governor said the state would soon commence the programme, adding that it was aimed at bolstering food production in the state.

Sanwo-Olu said that the programme was part of the efforts toward achieving food security in the state.

The governor, represented by Mr Hakeem Adeniji, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, said that the programme would also ensure that more lands were put to use.

This, he said would boost the socioeconomic prosperity of the state through agricultural mechanisation.

He added that the equipment would be utilised under the operational model known as,” Tractor-On-the-Go (TOG).”

“We shall soon commence a Mechanisation Programme tagged: ‘The Eko Agro Mechanisation Programme’.

“This is part of the efforts toward achieving our food security objective through putting more land to use and increase the economic contributions in the state, through agricultural mechanisation,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said that the state government would also improve on the existing agricultural infrastructure in some rural farming communities.

The governor said this was in order to reconnect the agricultural value chain actors with inputs and outputs markets.

He said under the “LAGOS CARES” Programme, water and sanitary facilities would also be upgraded in 69 wet markets across the state, with a view to reassuring safety in them.

Sanwo-Olu said that the programme was under the World Bank- assisted COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus tagged, “NG CARES” Programme”.

He said the programme was to assist the poor households with assorted farm inputs.

According to him, this programme is expected to impact no fewer than 15,000 households, as well as create not less than 25,000 jobs for agripreneurs.

“It will thereby make significant contributions to the state’s food basket that would bring farmers back on the path of economic recovery post COVID-19 pandemic.

“From this year, the Federal Government, through the State FADAMA Development Office domiciled in the Ministry of Agriculture, will be providing a relief package.

“Though minimal, it will be given to existing poor and vulnerable farmers and processing production and processing assets, as well as, hands-on training on enhanced management practices and advisory services.
This will boost individual enterprise productivity, increase yields and improve food security status in the state,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said that the state government would also consider the establishment of an “Agritech Centre” at the Dairy Farm Complex, Agege, to fast track the development of smart solutions.

He said that this would lead to increased agricultural productivity and address the state’s food insecurity challenges, as well as diversify the economy.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, said that series of activities were held to commemorate the 2021 World Food Day in the state.

Olusanya said that the programmes included: A Road Walk, Farmers’ Forum; Ofada Rice Day Symposium and Schools’ Agric. Quiz Competition for Students in the state’s Public Secondary Schools and the grand finale.

She was represented by the Director, Agric Services, Mrs Abiola Ayoade.

Olusanya said the World Food Day is celebrated annually to sensitise people to the importance and necessity for food security, access to food and nutrition, especially among the vulnerable, in the society.

In his remarks, Mr Sakin Agbayewa, the Deputy Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter, commended the state’ government for its numerous forms of support to farmers in the state.

Agbayewa urged the state government to declare a state of emergency in the agricultural sector due to ever-increasing high costs of food commodities.

He said, “food insecurity is a looming danger to the state and country at large.”

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